Metabasis N. 32
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Imaginaries and symbols of death

Imaginaries and symbols of death

November 2021 - Year XVI - Number 32

Political reflections

Space of Memories and Material Reveries: Towards an Aesthetics of Death.

Aurosa Alison

DOI: 10.7413/18281567210

Traditionally, the rational approach tends to configure the concepts of life and death in terms of separation. The symbolic approach conceives of them as related and mutually implicating. The former approach has prevailed in much of the philosophical tradition, the latter in the anthropological and ethnological studies. In this work we try to face a third scenario, which is that of the disarming unspeakability of this dyad, neither in terms of separation nor in terms of conjunction.

Death: symbols of a journey.

Cassandra Basile

DOI: 10.7413/18281567211

As Pigafetta says, death is the emptiest concept we have. However, death can be a meaningful concept for us, once we put into it our imagination with its myriad hopes and fears. Through the ages, death has become the bearer of symbolism in opposition to light as well as the concealment of knowledge. This article shows – through the description of symbols relating to the representation of the Underworld, the relationship between light and darkness, the symbolic explanation of the epic of Gilgamešh, and the study of some myths related to death – the imagery underlying the concepts of death that still has importance in our lives, as they display a relationship, perhaps the most private we have: that one each of us has with death.

And if death were but a symbol

Viviana Faschi

DOI: 10.7413/18281567206

Starting from a classical conception of the symbol (Alleau, Cassirer, Creuzer, Usener) the article proposes a journey that from the Greek Tragedy to Edgar Allan Poe, from the semiotics of Carlo Sini to the seminars of Jacques Lacan, aims to show the indissoluble link which joins the instance of the symbol with death.

Mortifying death

Natascia Mattucci

DOI: 10.7413/18281567208

Starting from questions that the recent pandemic has posed to the world’s governments and citizens about the connection between medicine, politics and public health, this essay analyses some human attitude changes towards death and mortality over the last few centuries through the philosophy and literature mediums. From this perspective, in the paper’s first part, the human approach to death and mortality is discussed considering the birth of the clinic and technology, showing the progressive removal of the perception of human limits in the contemporary world. In the second part, the human finiteness issue is addressed regarding the recent pandemic, raising questions about the loneliness of the dying and the consolatory function of storytelling.

The extraordinary order. Death and the philosophical void.

Fabrizio Sciacca

DOI: 10.7413/18281567213

Traditionally, the rational approach tends to configure the concepts of life and death in terms of separation. The symbolic approach conceives of them as related and mutually implicating. The former approach has prevailed in much of the philosophical tradition, the latter in the anthropological and ethnological studies. In this work we try to face a third scenario, which is that of the disarming unspeakability of this dyad, neither in terms of separation nor in terms of conjunction.

Symbolic of death and fragility. Philosophical-political reflections on the state of emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Erasmo Silvio Storace

DOI: 10.7413/18281567215

This article investigates the symbolism connected to the concepts of death and fragility in reference to the health emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting from a philosophical premise, the concept of “emergency” is investigated, also etymologically, showing the connection between a health emergency and the re-emergence of existential problems inherent to the essence of the human being, such as his mortality: all this immediately shows important social and political, as well as ethical and moral consequences. A second premise investigates the notions of “emergency” and “state of emergency” in political and legal key, with particular reference to Carl Schmitt. The discussion continues by analyzing in a philosophical-political key the re-emergence of the concept of mortality during the health emergency from COVID-19, and then reflect on the symbolic-political value of fragility and mortality through a historical-philosophical path from antiquity to the present day.

Symbolic rituals of death

Jean-Jacques Wunenburger

DOI: 10.7413/18281567212

Death can be considered the primary, and probably oldest, matrix of all mythologisation. The event of death provokes intense psychic activity to deal with the change it implies. The search for hope and consolation in relation to death - understood as a limitation of life - is expressed in an attempt to transform the apparent annihilation of life into a transformation of one onto-cosmological plane into another. Mythical narratives and beliefs implement a spatial and temporal scenario (through, for example, ceremonies and rituals) that largely spills over onto the living, providing them with a symbolic imaginary that leads to the creation of symbols, signs, ceremonies and rituals that ensure an exchange between the living and the dead.

Philosophical Horizons

Gabriel Vázquez: the Spanish Gregory.

Cintia Faraco

DOI: 10.7413/18281567209

The present essay proposes to interpret the thought of Gabriel Vázquez as an ideal continuation of that of Gregory of Rimini. In this way, I suggest a “new” name for the Jesuit: no longer the Spanish Augustine, as has gone down in history, but the Spanish Gregory.

Cagots and Yazidi. The prisons of diversity.

Massimo Frana

DOI: 10.7413/18281567202

Cagots and Yazidis are two peoples united by the same fate, that of the scapegoat. Considered sons of Lucifer, Iblis for Muslims, they have been victims of persecutions and segregation over centuries. Their obscure origin and their customs, beliefs, traditions, fundamentally shrouded in mystery, have aroused suspicion, distrust and hatred over time. Their existential diversity is at the origin of the “prisons” that were created by the community of the so-called “normal”. While the Cagots were lost in the nineteenth century, when their complete and bourgeois integration was achieved, the Yazidis still inhabit Kurdistan, well recognizable and condemned to bear a stigma, that of belonging to a race maudite.

The language of politics between hate speech and hate crimes

Enrico Graziani

DOI: 10.7413/18281567216

This paper aims at stressing tension and interactions between these three definitions of hate speech in relation hate crimes. In particular, the paper investigates the tangible significance of fear and violence originated from hatred. The applied methodology is Politolinguistk. This neologism, coined by Armin Burkhardt in 1996, identifies a particular area of analysis between linguistic and political science. At the basis of this method are Johan Searle’s studies on the distinction between method and scope of analysis. Following this argument, the analysis focuses on the impact that stereotypes and prejudices have on the spread of hatred on a social level, in some cases legitimized by politics.

The construction of the self between provisionality and uncertainties

Michela Luzi

DOI: 10.7413/18281567188

In contemporary society the quantity seems to have the upperhand compared to the quality, allowing to ‘gain’ numerically more frequent ratios. This has considerably complicated the conditions for building the foundations of friendship, solidarity, social relations and love. Love is a catalyst of emotions that make the interaction unique, not catalogable and not comparable to anyone else. These exclusive peculiarities of love lead ‘homo sociologicus’ to find in himself criteria of judgement, evaluation and motivation to act, which are not so appreciated in contemporary society, in which, on the other hand, the ‘homo oeconomicus’ predominates: solitary, selfish and egocentric. An actor, always looking for the best deal, driven by rational choice, careful not to fall prey to any emotion that does not have monetary advantages. Relationships become similar to products, and as such they must have characteristics of convenience, substitutability at all times, response to a desire or perhaps a more uncommitted ‘desire’.

Giolitti’s State and its crisis (1903-1921): constitutional and philosophical proposals.

Franca Menichetti

DOI: 10.7413/18281567214

Giolitti was a reformist. With some interruption, he led the government from 1903 to 1921. To the political and social crises of this government, the principal replays in the language of constitutional law and of philosophy were those of Santi Romano, Croce, Gentile, Salandra e Gramsci. But the belle époque was finished, or was finishing.

“Meritocracy or death!”: political, identitarian, and dystopian aspects of the South-Korean tv series, Squid Game.

Michele Olzi

DOI: 10.7413/18281567205

This paper aims to consider a series of political, identitarian, and dyspian aspects of the Netflix’s series, Squid Game. More specifically, the analysis of the TV series implies different considerations related to the theme of merit. Sociological and philosophical debate recently focused on this political topic. Three different concepts (i.e. game, merit, and money) are herein introduced to further contextualize the debate.

The birth of Draghi ministry and the contradictions among the italian populism

Luigi Sica

DOI: 10.7413/18281567204

The paper concerns the hypothetical crisis of the “populist moment” in Italy, with reference to the possible contradictions between the alleged populist nature of Lega and M5S and the participation of these two parties in the Draghi national unity government. The examined contradictions – some actual, others only apparent – concern the themes of Europeanism, the themes of the pluralism of democratic representation and the themes of the relationship with technocratic models.

Disagreement and freedom of speech. The case of traumatic abortion.

Maria Rosaria Vitale

DOI: 10.7413/18281567207

This is an article about a contested syndrome as a type of posttraumatic stress disorder. Its proponents claim that the abortion procedure causes per se detrimental effects on women’s mental health. Although the postabortion syndrome has been debunked by experts, it still resonates into antiabortion claims expressed by ordinary speakers. I will analyze its political and philosophical implications.

Metabasis N. 32
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

Editorial Criteria

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