Serious Dilettantism: Reflections on an Impossible Profession

Preview: If we define “philosophy” simply as “love of knowledge,” then it is obviously a requirement for any serious scientific, scholarly, or professional pursuit – in whatever field. Philosophy’s relevance is also wide-ranging or even universal when we define it as the most basic or general discipline: the one that poses foundational questions…

The Life of the Image

Preview: Bergson noted that the cinematographic image does not really move. It is, then as now, a series of still photographs. The real motion in such images is produced by machinery, which imparts a kinesis, an energy of movement, to the succession of fixed images. Our perception then endows such images with their “life,”…

Culture and Its Irreducible Pluralities

Preview: Culture is the relentless, never-ending process of symbolic formations, transformations and reconfigurations. This statement, as trivial as it is, means that culture is a certain ontological excess whose nature lies in its arti- and trans-factuality, in the modes of its self-differentiation, in the inherent indeterminacy of its meanings, as well…

Music and Philosophy: Contemporary Challenges

Preview: The ties between music and philosophy are strong and venerable, as they date back to the very beginnings of the latter. According to the ancient tale, Pythagoras, when passing by a smithy one day, noticed that the hammers make sounds of different pitch and, more importantly, that some of the pitch combinations feel…

The Multiformity of Violence

Preview: The category of violence is unavoidably ambiguous, and the very moment we make an attempt at clarification or disambiguation an acute question arises, from what perspective should it be considered, philosophical, psychological, sociological, anthropological, or pedagogical? We then realize that even if we decided on one perspective, it is unavoidably intertwined with…

The Principle of Differentiation

Preview: What is language? This question seems to be as fundamental and inescapable for philosophical reflection as it is paradoxical, if not abysmal. It is fundamental since philosophy cannot and should not escape questions concerning its own basic medium, the element of its self-realization or the means of expression of its…

Living Together in a Techno-World

Preview: Technology is everywhere. Whether we like it or not, technology in its manifold forms permeates all aspects of the contemporary world. Its boom is no longer limited to the “developed” countries, on the contrary, it can be observed that often poorer regions and communities are more eager to employ the most up-to-date…

The Inevitability of Symbols

Preview: The contemporary culture is marked by an essential heterodoxicality, where opposing cultural factors are constantly and effectively at play. For what we experience is unprecedented dynamics of social-cultural reality contrasted with a paradoxical form of stagnation (if not of regression). As if all changes were only meaningless variations on the same theme….

Beyond Diagnosis and Symptoms

Preview: Anthony Quinton in 1985 in a lecture to the British Academy said that madness is a topic that should be of interest to philosophers but they have surprisingly little to say about it. Twenty years later it turned out that philosophers have surprisingly much to say about it. Philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, as…

The Certainty Principle

Preview: Heisenberg’s general idea of uncertainty has become a trope of every science, social science, and casual knowledge claim. It seeped down from theoretical physics through the social sciences, as “the problem of the observer”, then to popular culture and finally into the daily vocabularies of the developed world. The effort simultaneously to know…