Articoli, Interviste & Contributi

Editoriale: La retorica e i confini della filosofia
di Marco Carassai e Libera Pisano| leggi
Nota poetica: Vers une poétique pour aujourd’hui
di Michel Deguy| leggi
¶ Sezione Prima - Retorica e discorso filosofico
Testi/1: Heidegger come retore. Intervista ad Hans Georg Gadamer
di Ansgar Kemmann | leggi

Italian translation of Heidegger as Rhetor: Hans-Georg Gadamer Interviewed by Ansgar Kemmann. This interview contains the autobiographical and philosophical testimony of Gadamer about Heidegger’s period in Marburg. Gadamer goes over some key issues of Heidegger’s 1924 summer semester lecture dedicated to Rhetoric of Aristotle, emphasizing the importance of the break made by the return to Aristotle launched by Heidegger. Gadamer goes through several philosophical problems such as the status of rhetoric into the study of humanities, the relation between the philosophy of rhetoric and the universe of linguisticality, the connection between logos and pathos, and the rhetorical dimensions of philosophical hermeneutics.
Articoli/1: Philosophy as Eloquence
di Donald Phillip Verene| leggi

Modern philosophy beginning with Descartes, Locke, and Kant has separated itself from eloquence by placing ars critica over ars topica. The result is the reduction of philosophy to the problem of knowledge that takes the form of argument and counter-argument. The connection of philosophical thought and speech to the tropes of metaphor and irony is overlooked and lost and hence the power of language that philosophy enjoyed among the ancients is lost. We may turn to two modern figures to aid us in recovering a sense of eloquence in philosophy — Vico and Hegel. Otherwise, we are faced with the monotone and boredom of the current attachment to philosophy conceived and taught as the exercise of «critical thinking».
Articoli/2: Retorica senza retorica
di Mariapaola Fimiani| leggi

The aim of dialogic discourse is to oppose adulation and dismiss rhetoric, interpreted as a pure instrument of persuasion. The relation between frankness in speaking and rhetoric is complex and contradictory, it implies rejection and intricacy. If one assumes there is no discourse without a certain technique, then a «rhetoric without rhetoric» – a controlled and measured order – should be kept in vrai dire. Moreover, conceiving a «rhetoric without rhetoric» also involves a discourse without a subject, that is the anonymity and processuality of the pervading and omnipresent world of communication, perceived as a tool of control on the singularity.
Articoli/3: Descartes e la trasformazione della meditatio in genere letterario
di Massimiliano Biscuso| leggi

In this essay I seek to argue that, in Descartes’s Meditationes de prima philosophia, the reader is a necessary, but by no means sufficient, context for the understanding of the text itself. In the first part of the essay I investigate the reasons for Descartes’s choice of transforming meditation into a communication form, and the characteristics of the way Descartes mutates it into a literary genre in contrast with the meaning of spiritual exercise it has in ancient philosophy and in modern devotional practices. In the second part I seek to clarify the rhetorical devices deployed by Descartes in the first Meditatio in order to predispose the reader to favourably receive the speculative theses of his work.
¶ Sezione Seconda - Figure e controfigure del pensiero
Testi/2: Il processo metaforico come apprendimento, immaginazione e sentimento
di Paul Ricoeur| leggi

Italian translation of P. Ricoeur, The Metaphorical Process as Cognition, Imagination, and Feeling. The paper will focus on a problem arising on the boundary between a semantic theory of metaphor and a psychological theory of imagination and feeling. Ricouer addresses the question whether an inquiry into the capacity of metaphor to provide true insights about reality may be completed without including as a necessary component a psychological moment of the kind usually described as “image” or “feeling”. What is suggested here is a structural analogy between the cognitive, the imaginative, and the emotional components of the complete metaphorical act.
Testi/3: Le parole e le rose. La metafora in Martin Heidegger
di Jean Greisch| leggi

Italian translation of J. Greisch, Les mots et les roses. La métaphore chez Martin Heidegger. The question of metaphor in philosophy may be asked in three different ways: analysis of its function (anglo-saxon philosophy of language); link with the problem of interpretation (hermeneutics); finally the “ontological” question of its meaning for philosophical discourse as such. The present study is a contribution to the latter question, focused on the philosophy of Martin Heidegger. The question is developed in three steps: elimination of the metaphysical conception of metaphor; the metaphor inside the philosophical discourse of Heidegger; come-back of a new conception of metaphor, which has not yet been completely shaped out, but which must be related to the opposition of dead and living metaphor..
Testi/4: Nietzsche e la metafora
di Sarah Kofman| leggi

Italian translation of S. Kofman, Nietzsche et la métaphore. The paper examines the role of metaphor in the work of Nietzsche, demonstrating a metaphorical act being the heart of  Nietzsche’s deconstruction of concept. Performing a genealogical approach to the notion of metaphor, Kofman examines various metaphorical “conceptual constructs”, used by Nietzsche to describe the hierarchized system of concepts to be found in science and in ordinary language.
Articoli/4: Lost in styles. Perché nel cognitivismo non c’è abbastanza intelligenza per capire l’intelligenza figurale
di Giovanni Bottiroli| leggi

In this essay I intend to examine Cognitive Metaphor Theory and show its errors and the narrowness of its horizons, especially from a philosophical point of view. To this end I outline an alternative theory, based on the following premises: (1) every investigation of figural mechanisms (metaphors, etc.) should acknowledge as its guiding principle the notion of ‘styles of thought,’ which I here illustrate; (2) notwithstanding their affinities, metaphors fundamentally can be distinguished into two typologies: familiarizing, i.e. oriented toward effectuality, or estranging, i.e. anti-effectual and prevalently dense – the latter being the metaphors we should consider as most eminent; (3) between literary and everyday languages there is a discontinuity which should not be thought of as a separation: rather, literature should be seen as a language which in a creative way relies on daily life to break stereotypes and offers new points of view on the objects of the world and on our existence; (4) figural mechanisms should be interpreted as mechanisms that preside over the construction of subjective identity. .
Articoli/5: Sobre la imaginación metafórica y ciertas variaciones retóricas de la literalidad
di Lisa Block de Behar| leggi

Is it possible at this stage to rethink metaphor, to restore a sort of literality to its rhetorical condition and, by means of writing, to make visible the figure? In order to try to achieve these goals it seems pertinent to observe similarities, taking as a point of departure, on this occasion, proper names (themselves a linguistic category of controversial meaning) and imagine the possibilities of a different transfer, attempting to establish the coincidences between two languages so as to verify translation in the metaphor.Thanks to a novel by Henry James, or more than one, in this paper I intend to follow a road where different languages run into each other and to emphasize the gaze, lo sguardo in literary fiction, to recover vision in the mysteries of an ancient symbol and to discover in that enigmatic, emblematic old object the convergence of legends of diverse origin and in the criss-crossing of their differences to reveal that there is a mystery. The acknowledgment of similarities between words, between languages, between myths, between cultures, is the means to actualize the passage between one and another, offering a glimpse of the similarities that metaphors foster and that idiomatic particularities do not avoid.
Articoli/6: La pragmática productividad conceptual de la metáfora El «giro diafórico» en Blumenberg y Rorty
di José A. Marín-Casanova| leggi

Metaphor is very much more than just a linguistic or basically literary phenomenon. It is an interactive and interpersonal process that fundamentally shapes our ways of reasoning and of experiencing the world. The metaphoric process is the process of a pragmatic concept production. Therefore the philosophical thought cannot get rid of metaphor: metaphor is to be interpreted in its literalness. Metaphorology presupposes a pragmatic model according to which concepts (and philosophical discourses) emerge as effects of the on-going work of metaphor. The understanding of metaphor as a pragmatic tool is a crucial presupposition for Blumenberg’s work and is the very method of Rorty’s neopragmatism. Their eventual methodological antagonism nevertheless does not hinder to consider both thinkers as protagonists of a same «diaphoric turn».
Articoli/7: Metafora e trascendenza. Su Levinas
di Marco Carassai| leggi

To what extent the movement of metaphor coincides, on the one hand with the movement of linguistic signification in general and, on the other hand, with the relationship to others, i.e. with the exodus from Being to the Other? The paper will focus on the original reflection of Emmanuel Levinas about the problem of metaphor, considering it as a crucial point of his phenomenology of ethical signification.
¶ Sezione Terza - Retorica e psicoanalisi
Testi/5: La presenza del sofista nella nostra epoca
di Barbara Cassin| leggi

Prima traduzione italiana di B. Cassin, La présence du sophiste à notre époque, tratto da Ead., Jacques le sophiste. Lacan, logos et psychanalyse, pp. 51-78, Paris 2012. Traduzione a cura di Libera Pisano. In this extract, Barbara Cassin underlines the connection between sophistic, philosophy and the psychoanalysis of Lacan. Rejecting the platonic idea according to which the sophist is the figure of anti-philosopher, the autor attempts to rethink sophistically the history of philosophy. In order to clarify the affinity and the difference, Cassin describes the statutes of sophistic and psychoanalysis. The performativity and the rhetorical effects of the language play an important role..
Articoli/8: La retorica che cura. Per un approccio retorico alla psicoanalisi
di Salvatore Di Piazza e Francesca Piazza| leggi

The aim of this article is to look at talking cure as a typically rhetorical action. We refer in particular to the word’s ability to relieve pain or even heal, a capacity already recognized in Greek thought, where the comparison of word and pharmakon was widespread. We intend to use the case of the healing word as an emblematic example of the continuity between natural dimension and institutional-cultural dimension. We believe that an investigation aiming to bring these aspects together can find a fruitful reference point in ancient Greek culture. The main advantage lies in our opinion in the fact that a series of dualisms, now so ingrained in modern culture as to be difficult to get over, had less weight in Greek culture. These include the ones between soul and body and between cognition and emotion. We will reefer to the whole classical rhetoric and not, as more usually, only to elocutio’s components. Indeed, recovering all the conceptual richness of classical rhetoric allows us to consider it as an anthropological reflection and this approach makes the comparison between rhetoric and psychoanalysis more stimulating and productive.
Articoli/9: Retorica del simbolo non verbale e del segno verbale. Un approccio psicodinamico
di Gian Luca Barbieri | leggi

The author studies the rhetoric in a psycho-dynamic point of view. In the first section of the text, he presents the main theories of symbolism in the psycho-analysis, and shows that this kind of symbol can be precisely a part of the rhetoric. In the second section he analyzes the figures of speech in the autobiographical tales as expressions of mechanisms of defence. In conclusion he exposes some neuroscientific theories about rhetoric to confirm his previous observations.
¶ Sezione Quarta - Retorica fra politica e performativo
Articoli/10: Soggettività sotto sorveglianza: retorica redux
di Philippe-Joseph Salazar | leggi

At the foundation of rhetoric in the Rhetoric, the first step taken by Aristotle on the path of rhetoric, or rhetoric as a path into politics, was to discriminate between what he was going to perform, and what was done, that is, between rhetoric and “the rest.” He founded rhetoric, and the political, by bringing a theory of subjectivity into a praxis of inter-subjectivity, or “politics,” and by grounding political praxis in an intellectual praxis of subjectivity. The primum mobile, or the dunamis, of his initial move was a consideration of, and for subjectivity within, and as politeia. In this essay I return to the founding moment, as moment and movement, and ask of “rhetoric” how we can take into our stride, and take into consideration, the new shaping of political subjectivity inaugurated by surveillance society in the electronic age. And, by so doing, I wish to extend and to reconfigure the domain of rhetoric, Rhetoric Redux. I dedicate this essay to Michel Meyer who, along his own cross-paths, encounters the same Holzweg as I believe I do.
Testi/6: Retorica come tecnologia del sé. Figure postmoderne del soggetto tra «dire» e «fare», di Sylvia Pritsch| leggi

The article examines different strategies of figuralizing the subject in postmodern theory. Against close concepts of the modern subject that are qualified as oppressive and violent, the poststrucural philosophers Derrida and Foucault strengthened the rhetorical and performative dimensions of language to open up these schemata. Furthermore, positive and negative strategies developed in the context of postmodern gender theory (Butler, Haraway) show new approaches concerning the embodiement of meaning and the body as performative signifier which lead not only to an ethical understanding of technologies of the self that includes gender and cultural differences, but also to new justifications of the important role of rhetorics for the cultural memory.
Articoli/11: Façonner une mémoire commune: Figures de la présence et de la communion au fondement de la dynamique utopique
di Emmanuelle Danblon e Ingrid Mayeur| leggi

In this paper, we try to elucidate the differences between ekphrasis and enigma in the narration of distopy in the preambles of charters with the criterion of the presence of absence of oral memory of a given society. To do so, we propose to explore a possible utopic genre in rhetoric.
Articoli/12: Entre situation et preuve: le nœud performatif. Eléments pour une étude des conditions de l’efficacité des actes de langage
di Thibaut Rioult| leggi

Repositioning speech, whether it is rhetorical speech or performative utterance, in its context, its space and its dynamics help us determine its scope and limitations and identify related elements. Through the prism of American interactionism or French anthropology, the study of the effectiveness of «speech acts» in their actuality (and not as pure linguistic category) brings out two major elements. Firstly, the necessity of speech to inscribe itself (in dual mode) in a situation or milieu, and secondly, the importance of proof in establishing and maintaining the efficiency of the language. Complementing speech, the physical dimension must also be fairly reconsidered, because it plays a key role in the system, by overcoming the «impotences» of speech.
¶ Sezione Quinta - Retorica dell'immagine
Articoli/13: The Big Picture. Philosophy After the Apollo Missions̀
di Kelly Oliver| leggi

In “The Big Picture,” Kelly Oliver analyzes the rhetoric surrounding the first images of the Earth from space. She demonstrates that mainstream media in the United States, along with testimony from the astronauts who took the photographs, is filled with ambivalent desires. The first photographs of Earth triggered rhetoric about saving and protecting the planet, rhetoric about technological unification of the global, and fantasies of escaping Earth to colonize other planets. These images made us want to love it and want to leave it. Kelly Oliver shows how these reactions to Earth are still with us today.
Articoli/14: La métaphore (,) entre les silences du langage et l'intervalle cinématographique
a cura di Thomas Lansoud-Soukate| leggi

Metaphor is language, but not only. Other mediums can use it as well, although without employing so many tools for the transposition of events, the expression of ideas and the art of telling stories. Moreover, from the figure of speech settled in its semantic forms, to the figure of thoughts, prevailing by its formal structures, the invitation to besiege other fertile lands turns out to be for the metaphor a temptation to exile. It is certainly through its expressive, artistic and cross-disciplinary aspect that, that metaphor spreads out the best. This text will contemplate them on the meeting point between literature and cinema, between the presumed origins of metaphor and an art that, as Jacques Rancière said « has not only revived the old tradition of telling stories but has also embodied the role of its most faithful guardian », … but not only.
Articoli/15: Introduction à une cartographie théorique du concept de figural̀
di Luc Vancheri| leggi

The concept of the figural, directly inspired by Freudian analysis, is today linked to a notional apparatus understood as borrowing from rhetoric, visual semiotics, iconology, philosophy and film theory. This article takes up of revisiting some of the theoretical premises at the origin of its foundation.
Articoli/16: Insights from the metaphorical dimension of making̀
di Clive Cazeaux| leggi

This paper argues that working with art materials can generate novelty through metaphor, and that these metaphors can provide new epistemological resources for visual arts research. In visual sociology, Gauntlett demonstrates that working with art materials enables a freedom of construction and formation that helps the makers to produce objects that embody novel, insightful metaphors about their lives. I go beyond the sociological study by (a) showing how the generative aspect of making can be attributed to the metaphorical nature of material, and (b) developing themes of ‘collision’ and ‘demand’ from Max Black’s and Paul Ricoeur’s theories of metaphor to illuminate the process whereby the manipulation of material in art produces novelty. Material can be metaphorical in four ways: (1) material cannot be described without reference to a perceiver; (2) material, as something that is manipulated in art, has to be considered in relation to the other materials that it will be acting upon or with; (3) in handling the material, the handler is also, if not equally, acted upon; and (4) in representational art, the manipulation of materials creates particular effects that call for description in terms drawn from the represented subject. These operate through collision and demand to suggest lines of enquiry for visual arts research, illustrated with reference to Vija Celmins’s charcoal drawing Night Sky #19 (1998). The benefit to visual arts research is that material is shown to be an independent source of epistemic enquiry, beyond the dominant conceptions of material as a vehicle for self-expression and the means to achieve certain kinds of effect.
¶ Sezione Sesta - Filosofia e ironia
Contributi/1: Polipi, retori, dizionari. Diderot e l’ordine ironico dell’Encyclopédie
di Matteo Marcheschi | leggi

This article tries to show how, in his philosophy, Diderot assumes the character of a rhetorician: each idea is inseparable from the imagination that has created it, constituting a thought that is based on analogical and metaphorical references. In this perspective, my article considers the Encyclopédie as the most specific product of the philosopher-rhetorician's thought: here the human knowledge organizes itself in a totality unfinished and ever-changing, where the articles are placed in a network of multiple references, never unambiguous and transparent. The result is a work in which each statement has an ambiguous and never final status: with this background, irony now appears as the constitutive factor of a human knowledge that always redefines its centres and its suburbs, creating unstable symmetries and balances.
Contributi/2: L’ironia come prassi decostruttiva in Søren Kierkegaard̀
di Ludovico Battista| leggi

The following article tries to show how the question of irony, as it has been formulated by Søren Kierkegaard in his famous work The concept of irony, can provide numerous causes for reflection, as well as echoes and suggestions of a proper modern decostructive praxis. On the one hand, irony is a dangerous way of relativisation and dissolution of any assumed truth, revealed as pure vanity, on the other hand – as it is the «counterfeit money» of the communication – irony consists of a praxis that resists to the monologue of the speculative synthesis, that is intrinsically dialogic. The irony «invents» the experience of the «other», inasmuch it is a messianic opening-up and it calls for a decision and singular responsibility.
Contributi/3: L’ironia: impalcatura conversazionale metaforica nell’esperienza comunicativa
di Daniela De Leo| leggi

This essay tries to define the intersection between the figures of thought – metaphor and irony – in a specific theoretical approach: in the language the meaning is a dynamic object, it is found in the phenomenological dimension of inter-subjective. The language develops according to the transformation of the natural and social context in which we live. These modifications are received and expressed in the language which is not a separate reality, a sort of absolute subject of the forms of life and tradition, but something deeply connected to the context that determines it and, through its own symbolic elaboration, that helps to determine.