The present article attempts to point out a common practice of Michael Psellos, yet rather unusual for his theological contemporaries, namely that of interpreting the Christian doctrines and teachings by using Greek philosophy, not only its terminology, but also its concepts, whenever they fit in with what the Christian Church and the Fathers of the Church elaborated, starting from the Scriptures. It is worth noting that Psellos does not inaugurate a new tradition of interpretation, when approaching the revealed text or the works of the Fathers prior to him in such a way. On the contrary, he continues a hermeneutical line which includes Clement of Alexandria, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, Maximus the Confessor. The novelty brought by Psellos was that he used Greek philosophy at a scale never used before or after him. The reasons for doing this are to be found in the corpus of the article.
Volume XX (2015), no. 2
In the Nicomachean Ethics, traditionally assumed to be the last of the three ethical writings attributed to Aristotle, practical wisdom (phronesis) is given two descriptions whose relationship is far from being completely elucidated. Phronesis is described as the capability of truly understanding the end of human life and also of discerning the appropriate means to attain this end. In their attempt to capture the way in which these two definitions are coordinated, scholars have proposed considerably different hypotheses. These would be enough reasons to justify a detailed analysis of the highly corrupted text dealing with the subject of phronesis in the Eudemian Ethics. [*]
[*] This work was possible due to the financial support of the Sectorial Operational Program for Human Resources Development 2007-2013, co-financed by the European Social Fund, under the project number POSDRU/159/1.5/S/140863 with the title “Competitive European researchers in the fields of socio-economics and humanities. Multiregional research net (CCPE)”.
As a significant event of the 20th century European thought, the debate of Cassirer and Heidegger at Davos has had a long-lasting impact on a number of disciplines and scholars. My investigations serve the aim of offering an access to various methodological layers of a famous debate and exploring whether this debate can contribute to re-think horizons beyond subjectivity. This problematics is inseparable from the recognition of a new reading of Kant, of human (in)finitude and of Cassirer’s and Heidegger’s two alternative approaches to hermeneutics. First, I offer some basic philological and historical considerations with regard to the development of a better understanding of this debate. Furthermore, I explore the Davos dispute itself as a hermeneutic-phenomenological event, concentrating on its own context and reconstructing the human condition, i. e. Cassirer’s and Heidegger’s return to the single, and main question “What is to be a human being?”. Finally, I propose to assess what may be regarded as the main characteristic of these two eminent thinkers’ dispute and a sense of this debate for philosophy and intellectual history. [*]
[*] This paper is an enlarged version of my lecture at the “Questioning Subjectivity” international conference organized by Jan Patocka’s Archives and the Charles University, Prague (Czech Republic) September 16–17, 2013. I used the text of my lecture held at the “Debating Philosophers: Disputations and Controversies” conference, organized by the MTA–ELTE Hermeneutics Research Group and the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest (Hungary), May 16–17, 2013. My paper was supported by the János Bolyai Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (BO/00053/13/2) and by the Research Support Office of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in the frame of MTA–ELTE Hermeneutics Research Group.
This paper analyzes an anthropological and philosophical point of view concerning the creation and evolution of every individual; in that respect the moment of birth is of a capital importance. It comes to put an end to a way of life (the intrauterine one) and to open the perspectives of human life as we generally understand it. But the ontogenesis as a process can be viewed from a broad perspective, at least as a part of philogenesis. Ontogenesis also presents, besides its manifest aspects (physiological and psychological), the possibility of some cognitive studies, anthropologically oriented, which may enlarge, and give nuance to, the comprehension of this circumstance, generally discussed in the anatomy, physiology and psychology textbooks (mainly developmental psychology). Ontogenesis, as a cast out of the intrauterine sphere, sees itself framed, contained and absorbed through the integration in the family system, which is formative and, obvious, necessary, but, at the same time, limited and restrictive to the cultural topos of a micro-group. On the one hand, we have the modernist tendency towards humanisation and adequate social enrolling, and, on the other hand, we may explore the necessary methodology for giving back the individual to himself, through trying the ways of autarchic re-finding and redefining. Even if it looks segregationist, the discussed approach allows the possibility of (re)gaining personal autonomy and interiority by re-discovering the personal fundamentals. What we want to underline in this paper is oriented to the re-analysis of the subjective interiority, delineated and re-gained out of the multiple aspects of the exteriority or exteriorities that contain us, include us and oblige us. Comprising and engaging the subject in exteriority may lead to a loss of specific substance, to a dissolution into the omnipresent objective given. We are worried because of the predominant valorisation of the extravert tendency to rapidly and suddenly entrain into the social, and neglecting the values of an introvert character, centred on the subject and settled in self, in the personal sphere. We shall present some aspects of the casting in exteriority, some pernicious effects of this unilateral tendency that is so trendy, being focused on a (re)calibration of the balance, more exactly on the ethical recovery of the subject.
The present study aims at re-approaching, in a critical manner, three interrelated terms differently (and independently) used or conceptualized in mono- and multi-disciplinary research today, in natural sciences and humanities: ‘emergence’, ‘synchronization’, ‘synchronicity’. The comparative perspective meant to bring different contextual meanings and usages together will shed a ‘renewed’ light upon the general significance of the concept of ‘complex system’, by re-evaluating the contribution that fields like philosophy or religious studies might add in order to nuance and re-define the various understandings of the formula when used in different frameworks. The bringing together of the three terms within the framework opened by different visions and understandings of the time-space continuum highlights, in a critical manner, important aspects and features to be taken into consideration for clarifying the significance of the three concepts in their interconnectedness, for re-evaluating the conventional existing definitions, and conceptualizations of ‘complex systems’, for configuring more complex research methodologies, and fostering a renewed concept of ‘scientificity’, enriched and reshaped through dimensions which are essential for its application within the area of Humanities. [*]
[*] The present work is supported by the research grant PN-II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0348.
This article presents a theoretical analysis of the various aspects involved in the construction of knowledge in the medical research article, currently a highly demanding but also rewarding genre in the international academic environment. The analysis takes into consideration the most prevalent features of present-day written academic discourse, with focus on the writing conventions and rhetorical strategies primarily used for successful scientific communication in medicine. The paper offers a multidisciplinary approach by adopting a pragmatic view of linguistics applied to written medical discourse in order to create a comprehensive picture of the current requirements of medical research reporting.
The paper focuses on an example of the fragile balance between theory and practice within the space-place debate. Thus, the introduction outlines several theoretical constructs, which offer a broad view of the complex phenomenon of the space-place study. The article then concentrates on the experiment proposed by the Serpentine Gallery, in London, which is unique in this context. Consequently, this part of Kensington Gardens has transformed itself, little by little, into a genuine architectural laboratory, which analyses and exhibits the attitude towards the space-place relationship, as it is understood by the different starchitects who have built here.
The paper grapples with the cultural implications brought about by the “right to be forgotten” ruled by the European Court of Justice in May 2014. The main argument developed at length in this paper is that we are witnessing a momentous shift in the order of social memory, from an old-age paradigm of anamnesis characterized by a will to memory against the background set by a default of forgetting towards a paradigm of public amnesia characterized by a quest for privacy against an ever-expanding digital memory. [*]
[*] This work was possible due to the financial support of the Sectorial Operational Program for Human Resources Development 2007-2013, co-financed by the European Social Fund, under the project number POSDRU/159/1.5/S/132400 with the title “Young successful researchers – professional development in an international and interdisciplinary environment”.
This study is a narratological analysis of the manner in which a historical fact (the deportation of ethnic Germans from Romania) gains its equally epic and poetic value in Herta Müller’s novel Atemschaukel, constituting a unique geometric place where the three genres, the lyric, epic and dramatic, converge. This intersection of genres, as well as the ability to maintain a stable balance between them, means for Herta Müller the real success in a poetic, artistic conversion of a dramatic event in the history of ethnic Germans in Romania. The paper describes the pattern of this specific type of writing, the meeting place of a lyric subject (the confession of the protagonist, Leo Auberg), an epic subject matter of the narration (deportation), and the tension of a metaphysical conflict, albeit desacralized, between destiny and freedom. This paper proposes a reading of Herta Müller’s text starting from historical contextualization, it analyzes the nature and function of history in a community and in individual destiny, in order to finally arrive at a poetic decontextualization.
The paper overviews some of the most important anti-Marxist traditions in the Romanian public sphere and analyses the discourse of three of the most important anti-communist philosophers today: Andrei Pleşu, Gabriel Liiceanu and Horia-Roman Patapievici. The main argument is that most relevant ideas of the author The Capital are misused and misinterpreted, due to a primitive understanding of Marxism. One problem is that Romania lacks academic studies of post-Marxism. The other is that the Romanian intellectuals are most often propagating ready-made Marxist ideas, half-truths without referencing the original context. Returning to the classical work of Terry Eagleton, who suggested that “Marx was right,” the author proposes a return to Marxist concepts, so necessary when it comes to critically understanding present day capitalism.
The article takes at task the Romanian historiography of metrology for positing the notion of standard measures before demonstrating their existence and before discussing the process of standardization. Contrary to such an approach, a contextual reading of the available evidence shows that the first efforts to standardize measures were late and that several variants of the same measure – I chose for exemplification the bushel – persisted long after the decreeing of the standard. In the end it is suggested that the study of weights and measures from the perspective of state- and market-formation is more profitable than the search for metric equivalents.
The present study considers Vasile Goldiş’ contribution to the development of the philosophy of education and social pedagogy, in his position as a political leader, director of “Românul” (“The Romanian”), journalist, president of “Astra,” author and, last but not least, a teacher. His pedagogical view on shaping the “soul” of the crowds, i.e. fostering self-awareness in human communities – nations in particular – represents an integral part of his general worldview on society, humanity and values, and can only be understood as a subsystem of the latter and a part of the universal culture. The value of Goldiş’ original contributions to the philosophy of education and the development of social and political pedagogy are demonstrated, above all, by his life events and a five-decade long activity in the service of national liberation and solidarity among social groups within the Romanian state, while also envisioning an ever-increasing unity among the European nations, leading to the creation of a future world state.
[*] Research for this paper has been supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS – UEFISCDI, project number PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0694.