Each essay of this journal is reviewed by two anonymous referees and their comments are sent to the authors .
Biopolitics and Imaginaries of Power: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives.
May 2022 - Year XVII - Number 33
Starting with a historical and philosophical reconstruction of the concept of fear, this article analyses its use within the mass media to generate consensus, particularly during the management of the Covid-19 emergency.
Huxley’s work can be considered a philosophical reflection that, in its closeness to the society of our time, projects it towards a distressing future. Indeed, both scientific progress and social changes (that are increasingly oriented towards the impoverishment of the human and shaped more and more as an instrument of power) reduce the distance between fiction and reality. In exacerbating the issues that biopolitics deals with and the way biopower is configured, Brave new world is a precursor of the times, and it stages the anguish of a realized utopia.
The aim is to test the concept of biopolitics under the light of the pandemic events of the last two years, from the perspective of the symbolic arrangement of power and the relationship between individual freedom and state of emergency. Besides representing a convincing verification of Foucauldian premises, biopolitics in action not only shows a Heideggerian ‘kinship with Nothingness’, but also stands as a current point of fall of the long tradition of power devices that began in the second half of the 18th century and was already perceived, in its critical aspects, by Hamann and Nietzsche.
In 2005 Vladimir Putin described the dismantling of the USSR as the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century. Our intervention tries to point out, beyond the emotions caused by this human drama which surrounds us today - the war in Ukraine, certain aspects of the formation of the political personality of Putin and the return of the Russian imperial imaginary in the context of the recent wars in post-Soviet space and its geopolitical consequences.
This contribution focuses on the theme of Foucauldian biopolitics, emphasizing that this paradigm can only be interpreted and fully understood within the broader hermeneutic-methodological framework provided by the genealogy of the processes of truthfulness and by the Nietzschean critique of knowledge and subject. This means that the politics of and on life is above all to be understood as a politics of and on truth, on the effects that a certain regime of truth has on the definition and construction of what is meant by life and power.
Sergio A. Dagradi
In a previous essay, dedicated to Pythagoreanism, I began to examine, with a falsificationist approach, the idea that western tradition does not know a culture of silence. The following paper aims to continue this review, concentrating his attention on Christian monasticism.
In vino veritas: from centuries-old historical memory in the collective imaginary to instrument of legal sanction in Jacobin ideology.
The purpose of the article is to explain how, in the Jacobin political system which wanted to establish the reign of virtue, and in its collective imaginary, even private and personal behaviours - such as getting drunk - could lead to draconian legal sanctions.
Some of the major theories of Italian biopolitical thought have strongly insisted on criticising the notion of sovereignty, interpreting it in the light of the logic of domination. This definition has unfairly ignored a special declination of sovereignty as animated by a 'figure of justice', thanks to which a community constitutes itself as a political body. The lack of consideration of the community horizon by this 'metaphysics of conflict', opposed to the sovereign order, makes it fragile against the current mechanisms of Biopower.
Raffaella Sabra Palmisano
The debate on the value and socio-political power of images is animated, in our times, by the growing importance of so-called influencers, youtubers, and various entertainment personalities. The analysis of images, from a political point of view, often tends to concretise and focus on issues related to propaganda. In this article the author aims to investigate the link between image productions as discourse productions – or 'truth games' – and subject productions. The specific case that will be analysed here is that of therapy culture, understood as a society that incites discourse on the – sentimentalised – narration of the intimate. Starting from the Foucauldian conceptualisation of the production of the subject through the production of discourse, an attempt is made to delineate the relationship between kitsch aesthetics and biopolitics. Michel Foucault's interpretation of biopower as dressage of the body brings us back to the possible relationship between aesthetics and biopolitics, as biopower is for Foucault indispensable to capitalist society, the society that for Gillo Dorfles produces kitsch.
The article will analyze the relationship between power and liberty by emphasizing the way our contemporary society contains in itself the seed of dystopia. The control over every aspect of human life seems to have become the way liberty and happiness is perceived to be achieved. On the contrary, this same control leads to the actual denial of liberty and happiness.
The power of the virtuous man. Some considerations on the Wolffian concepts of obligatio and officium.
This essay aims to outline the ontological basis that determines the moral action of the virtuous man in Christian Wolff's practical philosophy. Therefore, the dialectic between the conceptual pair obligatio-officium and the idea of lex was adopted as interpretative key, in order to bring out the notion of consensus, which characterises the moral action of the virtuous man. The latter, having fully developed his faculties (the cognitive and the appetitive one), reflects divine perfection and becomes artifex of his own happiness, actualising what is morally necessary in all his free actions.
The nexus between honestum and virtue. The Stoic influence on the anthropological vision of Hugh Grotius’ De Jure belli ac pacis.
This essay aims to analyse the anthropological vision developed by Hugh Grotius in his De Jure belli ac pacis (1625), in order to emphasise its ontological-rational foundation, which the author adopts after going beyond the theological voluntarism still present in his earlier works. Therefore, the relationship between the two peculiar qualities of mankind, namely the appetitus societatis and recta ratio, has been explored in depth, highlighting the influence of Stoicism on Grotius’ conception of honestum and virtus.
Can we think of betrayal as a moment of politics or is it just about personal relationships? In other essays, I supported this thesis: betrayal concerns the origins of politics. In fact, it concerns obedience to an authority and living in community with other people. In this essay, instead, I focus on the notion of traitor rather than betrayal, demonstrating the philosophical impossibility of defining the concepts of traitor and betrayed. We can, in fact, think about the concept of betrayal, but when we ask ourselves the following question: “who is the traitor?” The answers become impossible. The aim of this essay is to show the paradox of the definitions of traitor and betrayed through the novel La gloria by Giuseppe Berto. Death is at the center of these reflections.
Beyond nationalism and liberal democracy. Revolution and the new european order of Ordre Nouveau (1932-1938).
Ordre Nouveau is at once a political movement and a revolutionary project among the most original within the groups of the so-called Non-conformistes des années Trente, which enlivened the thriving intellectual debate of the 1930s in France. Despite the diversity of their intellectual, political and confessional backgrounds, the members of ON shared the rejection of any ideological or party commitment and a strong revolutionary impetus, going hand-in-hand with a firm pragmatism, though not lacking some utopian features. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the political doctrine of ON, placing it in its peculiar historical context and stressing its philosophical principles. Starting from some major themes such as the distrust of rationalism, the rejection of capitalism, the criticism of parliamentary democracy and the condemnation of nationalism and of totalitarian regimes, ON calls for a spiritual revolution, which should provide the foundations for a new personalist and federalist European order.
The paper focuses on the philosophy of war and, particularly, on Ortega y Gasset's review of Scheler’s work, The Genius of War (1915). The scope of this paper is to show that Ortega y Gasset's analysis of Scheler’s view on war stems from his initial interest on topics that he will further develop in more mature works, though his review will result in a radical criticism on Scheler. The paper analyses Scheler’s view on war and Ortega y Gasset’s position in three points: phenomenology of war – where Ortega y Gasset generally agrees with Scheler's meaning of war; ethics of war – where Ortega y Gasset criticizes Scheler because he considered violence as not an essential element of war; metaphysics of war, where Ortega y Gasset makes his criticism even stronger, since Scheler hypostatizes the State and its own rights: this reduces war to the reversal of the power of rights into the rights of power.